Cave under Babji zob
On the northwestern edge of the Jelovica plateau, a 300 metre cliff rises above the valley of Sava Bohinjka and the villages of Bohinjska Bela and Kupljenik. In the middle of that cliff, a sharp and picturesque rock, called Babji Zob (Hag's tooth), rises to the sky. In the vicinity of that rock, at an altitude of 1008 metres above sea level, the entrance to a cave awaits. The 300 odd metres of underground gallery are decorated by dripstone formations, among which calcite crystals can be seen. Helectites, the snail-shaped dripstones, are particularly valuable, as they are very rare in Slovenia, as well as elsewhere.
Guided tours of the cave are, of course, available. This is a one-time opportunity for a half-day trip. The guided tour of the cave itself lasts one hour. Together with the ascent to the entrance, the resting time, the tour of the cave and the descent, the trip takes about 31 hours. Visitors are recommended to bring mountaineering outfits (appropriate footwear, warm clothing, refreshing drinks).
Since the beginning...
Some sources suggest that the Babji Zob cave is the second oldest cave in Slovenia, as it is said to have formed in the ice age, in a time when the water from the Bohinj glacier invaded the inside of the Jelovica plateau. It was discovered by coincidence some 200 years ago by a local villager. The cave was a tourist attraction even before the Second World War, as it was then open and accessible to any visitor.
After 1970, the speleological association of Bled, the members of which are also cavers from Bohinjska Bela, started to fit fences, staircases and lighting to the cave and gradually prepared it for the public. Today, the professional guidance to and through the cave is the domain of the members of the cave explorers' club Bled. They also take care of the maintenance. In 1986, the passage to the back part of the cave was discovered and dug out, which is also accessible to visitors today. Unfortunately, one part of the cave is still not accessible to tourists. Discovered only a few years ago, this new one-hundred metre part of the cave on the other side of the abyss features completely undamaged calcite crystals and crystal orbs, unique to Slovenia. The first guided tours took place only once a year, however the increased interest boosted the number of tours. In 1995, guided tours were organized throughout the season.
...and to the future
Although we strive to include the cave into the tourist offer, the conservation of nature is still our top priority and mass tourism is not an option. This is why the number of tours is limited.
How to reach the cave?
The first part of the ascent, which begins at the beginning of the village in front of the inn Rot, can be done by car. There are two routes that lead to the cave. The first one is shorter, but steeper and leads through the forest and to the entrance. It is a 1 hours' walk. The second one begins in Kupljenik at St. Stephen's church and is a bit longer, yet less steep and more picturesque, as it offers lovely views over the Sava Bohinjka valley. At some parts, it is secured with a wired fence. The journey takes 2 hours. The choice of the route is made by the professional guide, according to his assessment of the experience and equipment of the group. A round trip is also possible.
Babji Zob cave is open in July and August every Sunday at 10 am. or arranged by phone (041597426, 041368965) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Fb: https://www.facebook.com/dzrjbled/
You can find out more about cave and cave associations from Bled in the video below: